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Beef Brisket in the oven?

I defnitely prefer smoke and wood and charcoal flavors but i need to turn out a bunch and dont have the time to babysit the grill.

So can anyone share some oven tips and tricks to get a superior brisket ?

Recipes i have seen leave it at 350- but my expereince with pork shoulder tells me there can be a better way to get some more texture.

so what do you recommend? Some recipes would also help out.

I was thinking of maybe using some smoked salt to enhance the smoked flavor- but perhaps it would be too subtle.

also.. how much salt per pound do you recommend?

thanks so much.

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  1. Why don't you go with a pulled pork approach? Large can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of worchester, some vinegar, cayenne, about 1 T kosher salt, some brown sugar--there are tons of recipes out there, I'm just throwing out stuff here. Then a nice s-l-o-w oven (like 275) for a good long time. Until it falls apart. Maybe overnight, if you have an automatic oven that you trust. I've had delicious results for pork shoulder with this approach, don't know why it wouldn't work for brisket. Or, the pot roast approach using different spice set--red wine, beef broth, carrots, onions--again in the slow oven for a long time.
    You could "dry salt" your beef--rub it good with kosher salt--and let it stand for a bit (like an hour or so--check someone like Alton Brown for timing) before going the long & slow route.

    1. Add a hit of liquid smoke. You can find it at most major grocery stores. Be forewarned though, a little goes a pretty long way.

      Most folks I know who do brisket via the oven usually foil it with some aromatics/liquid and cook at at about 350 for 3 or 4 hours. I think Mommasue's ideas would work, but you can do it at 350 and get the same results in a shorter amount of time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Db Cooper

        Db Cooper is right. Cooking the brisket at 350 degrees F will yield the same or better results in much less time.

        A light coating of adobo sauce and cumin can help achieve smokiness without actually using smoke.

      2. You can start it a grill or smoker and finish in the oven and retain the grill/smoke flavor

        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97

          You can also inject smoke and other flavorings directly into the meat with a "Cajun Injector" or something similar. If your brisket doesn't have to be whole for presentation, you could also cut it into chunks and marinate it.

        2. I think you could get decent results by doing a brief unattended smoke (e.g. 1/2 chimney or so of charcoal and some chips (about 45 min) on a Weber Kettle indirect setup), then finish in a low oven (275 to 250). After the smoke the meat will still be basically raw, but should smell pleasantly of smoke. You could even smoke first, and then refrigerate until ready for oven (but wrap tightly or everything in the fridge will smell like smoke). In the oven, you want internal to hit 190 or so. Over 200 and it will fall apart. If you have a meat probe, this might be a good time to break it out. Better yet, if your oven has one built in, even better. I finally read the manual on my oven and realized that with the meat probe there is a setting that will lower the oven to safe holding temp (~150) once the meat reaches the desired temp. Perfect for slow overnight roasts. Who knew?

          1. Cook it on a bed of carrots with some onions and celery too. Add broth to braise. Cover for first 5 hours or so. When done, strain liquid and defat. Reduce it some, then put the juices and cooked carrots/onions/celery in a blender (not to hot, or it will explode). Blend to puree.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sbp

              +1....I have been making it that way for some 25 years, but I will first sear it off on the grill, and then a small touch of liquid smoke....for a large crowd...I normally prepare these a couple of days ahead, put them in the fridge, slice them when they are cold, place them in pans with the gravy and warm them gently before serving...

              1. re: PHREDDY

                Yes, to all of that. I forgot to mention the slicing. So easy to get nice even slices with cold meat. And then it soaks up all the gravy when it reheats.

            2. I put mine in a roaster, on a rack, add some cooking liquid to it, so it comes just up to the meat. Then I season it, not much, just some salt and pepper, maybe some garlic, then put sliced onions over the whole thing. It gets put in the oven, having covered the roaster (it's kind of deep, so the foil does not touch the meat. I put it in the oven at about 275 for about 8 hours.
              I also add liquid smoke if I'm going for that flavor, just some drops in the cooking liquid.
              I let it sit for awhile, then carve. I cook it fat side up so it melts down into the meat as it cooks.

              1. I get super tender results with it wrapped on foil, and at 300 degrees, for five hours. Take it out & let it rest another hour before unwrapping. I slice two large sweet onions as a bed under the beef. Yes, you will need a lot of salt.

                1. I like to mine ahead, and it comes out really moist and delicious. I put a layer of onions and garlic on the bottom of the pan, then the brisket, and then some more onions and garlic. I sprinkle a package of dry onion soup over the whole thing, then I put water about half way up. I cook at 350 for about four hours. Let it cool and refrigerate. Next day, take all the fat off, slice the meat and put it back in the gravy and recook at about 300 for two hours. I then freeze it like this, or just reheat another day. Super mosit. You could any flavors and vegetables you want. The key is to cooking it once, slice cool, put in the gravy cook low for awhile and then reheat it low to. Makes a lot of gravy.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: paprkutr

                    Pape, that is how my mother made it..back in the 1960's, and i think my sister still uses that receipe for the holidays...

                    1. re: paprkutr

                      I do mine pretty much the same way, but this isn't a stand-in for smoked, it's its own dish, more the traditional braised dish than the smoked one.

                      I brown the whole beast well in a heavy roasting pan over two burners on the stove top, then remove and saute up an ungodly amount of onions in the rendered fat, along with some carrots and celery and even some garlic. When all this is nicely browned, add back the brisket, seasoned well on both sides, and throw in some stock or water and some ketchup (if you want it tomatoey (I like that)) or some tomato juice or even V8, cover with foil and bake at 350 or so for four to five hours. Halfway through the cooking you can turn the Brisket over and nestle it back into the rendered juices.

                      When a carving fork slides in easily, remove and strain out the liquid, reserve and refrigerate everything.

                      Next day (did I mention this is a two-day process?) lift off the solidified fat puck and save for frying potatoes. Add the cooked veg to the liquid and puree to a thick gravy. Slice the cold brisket and lay out in a roasting pan, cover with gravy and reheat, covered with foil, at 300 for an hour or so.

                      Here are a couple of videos that show this process, more or less:



                      And here's one about how to buy the best Brisket:


                    2. In January, 2005, Cooks Illustrated did a special feature on brisket and it was indeed good. When I moved last year, I left most of my cookbooks at the old monastery, so I don't have that recipe now. But you can get get it through the magazine web site or at a library.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Father Kitchen

                        thanks everyone

                        what is the target temp for brisket ?

                        like for pulled you are trying to get to 200... whats the ideal for brisket ?

                        If i wrap the pan in foil i will defnitely get tender results.. but i do want some texture..

                        does anyone wrap it and then blast it to get a little crust ?

                        anyone have any success with this?


                        1. re: lestblight

                          Concerning target temperature, just go by texture. Check early and often. Pull it when the probe of a thermometer slides in without resistance, then rest, still wrapped, for at least an hour. The dissolution of connective tissue is not a result of temperature alone, so you can go on temperature alone. If you do you risk pulling it too early (it will be tough) or too late (it will be dry).

                          Concerning wrapping the pan in foil, you will not definitely get tender results. You can still undercook and overcook with a foil-wrapped pan. However, wrapping in foil does create a larger opportunity to achieve a moist, tender product. That being said, I do like to wrap briskets in foil during part or all of the cooking process, but I still check the texture early and often so I know when to pull it.

                          Concerning the crust, you'll sacrifice that if you wrap it in foil. Just accept that if you choose to go the foil route. It happens every day in the barbecue competition circuits and foiled briskets without bark take first place consistently.

                          1. re: lestblight

                            I rarely follow an actual recipe. I use brisket for ropa vieja, so I cook it until it is tender but avoid over cooking to the point it tastes like canned beef. Generally I brown the meat and in the same pan sweat onions and whatever other vegetables I like, esp garlic. Sometimes I will include bell peppers or jalapeƱos. I deglaze the pan, put in whatever herbs I like and put it in a Dutch oven or heavy casserole. I add enough broth to come up about half way. I cover it with parchment if I have it and kind of dent it in the center so condensation drips back down on the meat. Otherwise foil. I want a tight seal. Then the lid. Then I cook it slowly until done. Ideally I would do it in a 250 oven, but in practice it's usually 325 to 350 because of time considerations. If I want to slice it, obviously, I don't let it get to the shredding point. Flavorings that are good with it include everything from a bit of orange zest and even orange juice with the broth, or wine or vermouth. It all depends on what I have and on what seasoning direction I would push it in. I sometimes add tomato paste to the onions or even a can of diced or crushed tomatoes. My usual seasoning includes bay leaf and a bouquet garni of some sort. In a pinch, I'll simply use thyme. And of course fresh pepper. And maybe some coriander seed. Once in a great hurry, I sliced the raw brisket fairly thin on a meat slicer, browned each side as you would a pork chop and braised the meat with onions, garlic, and a bit of red wine and canned chicken broth and Penzey's herbs of Provence. Total cooking time was greatly reduced, but it was still very good.